SPARC Digital – FIT’s Special Collections and College Archives Digital Platform

SPARC Digital is a platform created by FIT’s Special Collections and College Archives (SPARC) to showcase their rare and unique materials in digital form.

Screen shot of SPARC Digital Record for Fashion plate from Les Idées Nouvelles, 1927

Featuring images from dozens of collections comprised of original fashion sketches, photographs, illustrations, and historic fashion plates, it includes examples of women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, millinery, footwear, jewelry, and costume created between the 18th and 20th centuries. Significant collections include the Bergdorf Goodman archives, Frances Neady Collection of Original Fashion Illustrations, Halston Hats sketches, Jerry Miller Shoe designs, Joseph Love Children’s Wear sketches, Helena Rubinstein Foundation photographs, and many more.

One of the more exciting features of SPARC Digital is the ability to search and browse the collection by color. Faceted searching is also available, allowing users to drill down into their search, narrowing the results by medium, subject, format, creator, and collection

With the goal of making the collections more accessible online, SPARC is continually adding content and will be prioritizing material that is in the public domain to encourage our users to creatively re-use our collections. Where possible, SPARC has reviewed material and has included a rights statement in the metadata associated with each item. This rights statement indicates whether a researcher may or may not reuse an item and the permission needed to do so.

Popular & Free Resources

I thought we could share some of the popular and free resources that we use outside of our regularly scheduled program (subscribed databases). Please share with your favorites with your fellow SIG members in the comments section below.

Some of my personal favorites include:

Business of FashionThis website provides up-to-date fashion industry news on topics such as technology, emerging designers, and op-eds.

Marketer’s Almanac (think with Google)Provides consumer trends using Google Analytics.

Retail Insight CenterA resource from the National Retail Federation that allows you to gather retail industry information using resources provided by the U.S. government .

For more helpful websites, be sure to check out the Fashion Librarian’s Resource Guide!